Different groups have specific rules about behavior. You wear the appropriate work attire because you are an employee of a company. You take your hat off when you attend church. You stand up and sing during the national anthem. No one has to tell you to do these things, you have an innate feeling that it’s common courtesy to do so. It feels right. And the same goes for the CrossFit box. Here are the rules of most CrossFit gyms.

Rule 1: Put Your Equipment Away.
Seems obvious, but it isn’t. There is nothing more frustrating for a member than to not find the equipment they want and need when they need it because it is spread out into random places all over the gym. There is nothing more infuriating for an owner and coach to see plates left out or a stray band tied around a pull-up bar after class. Space and time are often a premium for a CrossFit class, and no one wants to waste it by cleaning up someone else’s workout. Do everyone a big favor and take pride in your gym by putting your stuff away.

Rule 2: Don’t Drop The Bar When Stripping Plates.
Please save your coach from a brain aneurysm and strip down your barbell properly. Lift the barbell and slide the plates off of it, then place it back on the floor. Don’t let it crash to the ground. This is how they get damaged.

Rule 3: Wipe Down Everything
If you touched it, wipe it down. If you sweat on it, wipe it down. If you bleed on it, wipe it down. If you cry on it, wipe it down. If you look at it, wipe it down. If you think about it, wipe it down.

Rule 4: Don’t Steal Equipment, Share.
Make sure you have what you need. Make sure your classmates have what they need. If there is a shortage of equipment, ask someone if they’re okay with you sharing with them. Don’t just jump in on someone else’s stuff without asking. Don’t take something from someone who already has everything set up. Also, allow people to share the equipment with you. CrossFit can’t be about the community if it’s every man for him/herself.

Rule 5: Don’t Be Late.
Our gym will never apply a burpee penalty for being late. You’re adults and will be treated as such. However, if you’re late, it really has a negative impact on a lot of people. Life happens sometimes and a few minutes is no big deal. But if you show up 5-10 minutes late often and always want the coach to explain everything that is going on for a second time it is frustrating for the coach and the class because they can’t move as fast or do as much as they’d like to do.

Rule 6: Check-in/Sign Up for Class.
Register ahead of time. Check in when you get here. It’s essential for the coaches, and it is simple and easy for you to do.

Rule 7: Pay Attention When the Coach is Giving Instructions.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing CrossFit for 1 month or 5 years, it’s disrespectful to have your own private conversation or do your own thing when the coach is trying to give instruction to the class. You may know how to perform each movement off the top of your head, but not everyone does, so just be patient and quiet and let everyone get the full benefits of the coaches’ knowledge. Besides, you might learn something new about the lift that you would have otherwise missed!

Rule 8: Don’t Try to Have A Full Conversation with Someone During the Workout
If your “short” conversation is going to force someone to stop what they’re doing, then save it till after the workout.

Rule 9: Don’t Move the Chalk Mid-MetCon
The buckets containing this white gold are usually tactically placed to be easily accessible to as many people as possible in the midst of a WOD. If someone decides to move it to their area, then all hell breaks loose. Hell hath no fury like a CrossFitter denied his chalk in the middle of a WOD.

Rule 10: Respect an athlete’s space.
This is crucial for safety and focus. If someone is preparing for a lift, don’t walk behind them, in front of them, or anywhere close to them. If someone is preparing for a challenging set of anything, stay away. Do not interrupt or crowd them. Pay attention to yourself and the people around you and allow people to do what they need and want to do. Allow them to be safe and focused.

Rule 11: Don’t Drop Everything.
There exists a phenomenon of dropping barbells, kettlebells and anything else from overhead, regardless of the situation or weight. This is dangerous because dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells with thin plates can bounce when dropped from overhead and ricochet into yourself and other athletes. While it is very satisfying to hear the crash of the weights against the floor, it is to be reserved for the strictly heavy lifts.

Rule 12: Introduce yourself to newcomers.
If you do not recognize the person, introduce yourself and become friends. It’s about relationships and culture. You’re friendly with everyone at CrossFit, or you’re not a good fit. You should know everyone’s name, and they should know yours.